• image
AWC-Logo-nobg full 01AWC-Logo-whitebg-full 02
American Women's Club of Hamburg


Maria Speth, Germany 2021

Just north of Frankfurt is a small town with a population of approximately 20,000 named Stadtallerdorf. Although this is a German town, it was about the same size as my hometown I grew up in with the exception we didn’t have refugees or an extraordinary teacher like Dieter Bachmann.  He starts by asking his 6th grade students having the ages between twelve and fourteen where do you feel at home? It is exactly a question I ask myself from time to time so it didn’t surprise me when most of them answered that they feel closer to the land where they were born even though they may have come to Germany as a small child. Dieter Bachmann is also inspiration since he approaches each student as an individual and even if their language skills seem not up to par, he teaches them with respect and a higher level to make them challenge themselves. I have rarely seen such a teacher with a vision of a future path to realistic help under privileged kids to succeed as well as opening them up to be curious about life. He not only accomplished that but also worked on integration and tolerance among those students who are coming from very diverse backgrounds by using music, crafts and storytelling. He even personally revealed his own background and hardship which help build trust and gave them courage.

This warm-hearted documentary film was selected for Berlinale online program in March and then again in person for the second half of the program in June.  It was not a surprise that this film walked away with the first-ever Silver Bear Audience Award. 8,500 Berlin audience members voted for it from 15 movies. It was one of the most memorable films from the festival and can inspire us all to reach out and give a helping hand in making this world a better place. ()

Our Sponsors